A week ago, I wrote a blog blatantly plugging the fact that Sit-Down Comedy, the 2003 anthology written by 19 comedians which I edited with the late Malcolm Hardee, is now available as an iBook from iTunes and in a Kindle edition.
I said two of the Sit-Down Comedy contributors were considering publishing print-on-demand books. Now a third tells me he, too, is doing the same thing. He is currently checking the proofs.
Dave Thompson co-wrote a very quirky short story for Sit-Down Comedy with Jim Tavare and tells me: “I am about to publish my novel The Sex Life of a Comedian via Lulu.com after having fallen out with a ‘proper’ publisher.”
Dave explains: “It was what I witnessed at the London book launch of another comedian’s book that made me realise what a shambles I’d got involved with. And then I bought a copy of a book by another comedian I knew and it was bursting with errors. There were so many mistakes, it looked like it hadn’t been proof read…
“From what I hear from other people who get involved in publishing books, publishers rival comedy promoters for incompetence and greed.”
Dave is highly-original. He has written for Ben Elton (they have been friends since schooldays); ITV’s BAFTA Award winning series The Sketch Show with Jim Tavare; Harry Hill’s TV Burp; and, uncredited, for many other Big Name comics. He has even amazingly written for the newly-enobled (as-of today) Sir Bruce Forsyth. Time Out called Dave “one of the finest joke writers in the country”. But, to the public, he is mostly known for the Tinky Winky incident in 1997.
He played Tinky Winky (the purple one) in the world-famous children’s television show Teletubbies but was equally famously fired after American fundamentalist tele-evangelist Jerry Falwell warned parents that handbag-carrying Tinky Winky could be a hidden homosexual symbol, because “he is purple, the gay pride colour, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle: the gay pride symbol”. Ragdoll, the show’s British production company, decided that Dave’s “interpretation of the role was inappropriate” and sacked him.
In Kazakhstan, the Teletubbies are still banned by order of the president who considers Tinky Winky to be a pervert.
The Sex Life of a Comedian is about a stand-up comedian on the UK circuit who gets a job wearing a blue furry costume in a world-famous television show but then gets fired. The story involves drug-fuelled celebrity sex romps, the Mafia and wild parties aboard luxury yachts.
Well, at least no-one in the television or comedy worlds has to worry about it being autobiographical, then.